Tainan isn’t your normal city in Taiwan. Sure it’s modern and sure it’s beautiful, but there’s an artsy edge to it that makes it stand out from almost every other city in the island nation. The original capital of Taiwan, Tainan honors its past but also is looking eagerly towards the future and nowhere are these two traits better seen than on Shennong Street.
Centuries ago, Shennong Street was near the main port and its buildings served as storehouses for goods flowing from Taiwan to the rest of the world. Commerce still happens here but in a much different way. Take a stroll down the quirky street today and you won’t find crates of rice or tea, but instead quirky coffee shops, retro bars, and several art galleries featuring Taiwan’s best and brightest. One of my favorite evening activities is to start at one end of the street and just enjoy a leisurely stroll, grabbing an ice cream or coffee and window-shopping along the way. More than anything else, a walk down Shennong Street is the best way to understand this modern and eclectic city.
AFAR Ambassador Matt Long traveled to Taiwan as a guest of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.